Military Review

A. Isaev. Book review V. Markovsky, I. Prikhodchenko "The first supersonic fighter-bomber Su-7B"

A. Isaev. Book review V. Markovsky, I. Prikhodchenko "The first supersonic fighter-bomber Su-7B"History The aircraft is intelligibly explained, normally structured. The authors of the book (Prikhodchenko, as I understand it, was responsible for the illustrative series) argued in opposition to the popular belief that the Su-7 was made a bomb atomic bomb initially - at the time of the Su-7B works, the corresponding bomb class was not even in the project.

However, the main advantage of the newest books on the history of technology is that they reproduce without embellishment the real picture of the state of the military industry and the armed forces of the Soviet Union. Here I can relate the book of Markov to one of the best examples since he managed to draw a three-dimensional and vivid picture of the fate of a particular machine, both in factory workshops and on drawing boards, and in parts of the USSR Air Force. Actually it was in this format that it was necessary to submit information to 1980's, for clearing the brain and a more realistic picture of the world.

At the very beginning of operation, the Su-7 as a fighter ie. without a letter was very raw. Due to the meager resource of the first engines (25-50 hours), the Su-7 of the early series of the release was rolled out onto the strip and then started the engine. In the parking lot, too, drove the tractor. The resource of the AL-7F-1 engines even for the most advanced modification of the first decade of operation did not exceed 250 hours at the price of the 1969 product of 150 thou. the aircraft engine hour was worth 600 rubles. Only by the middle of the 80-s did the engines reach the 2200 hours of the resource.

The book abundantly reveals the background of the well-known saying “Sukhoi aircraft, and the technician is wet”. The author writes about the beginning of the Su-7 career: “In addition to the engine resource, the Su-7 had many limitations of flight modes, the severity of which did not diminish with the tests, but on the contrary increased, threatening to turn the front-line fighter into a low-maneuverable machine in a straight line. " The technical maintenance made it very difficult for the compact layout and technological hatches of extremely small dimensions, and for access to a number of units it was sometimes necessary to remove several mounted side by side ”(C.80).

Actually, in practice, this resulted in a large amount of time that aircraft required in daily maintenance. Markovsky's word again: “In operation as of 1965 the year when the main problems seemed to be resolved, the labor costs for servicing the Su-7B were 83 man hours per flight hour, which caused legitimate questions to the developers from the Air Force leadership . Paying attention to the unsatisfactory state of the issue. The Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force cited data for comparison on American aircraft of this class, where they were half as much. For example, even with their sophisticated electronics, the standards for training for one flight hour were about X man-hours X-manum hours (C.104-105) for servicing tactical fighter F-45 “Starfighter” and F-101 “Thunderchif”.

Those. the image of a simple and reliable ax of domestic military equipment fades somewhat. What I liked, the author of the book on Su-7 was not limited to just general statistics, but showed where it all came from in practice: “When performing preliminary preparations, without fail preceding the next pair of flight days, on Su-7B for production it was necessary to open the 38 hatches of various units and systems (on machines of different series, their number changed, these figures refer to the aircraft production of the summer 1969 of the year). Of these, 27 manholes required to open a special tool (various-sized screwdrivers) with unscrewing in total 122 screws and screw locks ”(C.102).

We should not think that Su-7 was in relation to the exploitation of a black sheep among peers. Actually, the MiGs were not sugar in this respect either, again the quote: “Thus, when servicing the MiG-21 PF, in the course of preliminary preparation, the opening of the hatches took even more time, and the screws and locks needed to be unscrewed by one and a half times more - 195 pieces. To ensure access to the serviced units of the first MiG-23, it was even necessary to open the 47 hatches with 452 screws and locks, spending almost two hours on these operations! ”(Ibid.).

These hatches are clearly visible on this photo of the Su-7, which has become a teaching aid:

However, all this flowers. The berries begin when the Su-7 rises into the air. Quote: “With regard to the handling characteristics, the pilots evaluated the efforts on the handle as excessively heavy, while the responsiveness of the aircraft to the cottage was too sensitive. According to pilot A Kachura, “after the flight (especially as part of a group to the training ground), I had the impression that I unloaded a wagon of potatoes or coal, especially when you were flying as far as possible, holding on to the rest. And it was a shame that not with the air flow, but with the springs in the automation. Others compared the impressions of piloting the Su-7B with "the work of a tractor driver or driver on the T-34" (C.111).

Further: “The car was strict in piloting and did not forgive either the“ young ”or the“ old men ”. Su-7 was not easy to manage, but it was steadily holding modes. The extremely high sensitivity of the machine in the transverse relation to the deflection of the rudder at the take-off and landing angles of attack repeatedly led to very tragic mistakes during take-off and landing - when giving a foot, the plane abruptly tilted, but sluggishly reacted to the ailerons. Attempting to give back legs led to the lateral buildup of the aircraft, which was already on the verge of stalling and, as a rule, ended with stalling and falling. Often there were breakdown and high-speed pickups, and not a very reliable engine automation system, its voracity and poor acceleration kept the pilot in constant tension throughout the flight ”(C.118).

Design flaws were added to the fire, and the result was a sad picture: “in 1964, one flight incident — an accident or a catastrophe with the loss of an aircraft — for all groups of reasons (including equipment failures, flight errors and technical personnel, guides and flight arrangements , as well as the remaining unexplained factors) for the “sevens” reached 1 770 hours, and the machine according to this indicator was the most alert in the Soviet Air Force. The data spoke for itself: for the MiG-21, this figure was 3 225 hours and even the Su-9 type close to the fighter-bomber stood out almost twice as good as the 3 246 incident hours. The picture did not significantly change a year later: in a Su-7 operation in 1965, one loss fell on 2 294 flying hours, while the safety and reliability of the MiG-21 in the ranks was improved by one and a half times and the raid on these vehicles increased before the exponential 4 650 hours.

It is curious that at almost the same level as the MiG-21, the accident rate of the American F-104 Starfighter, which was called by our propaganda as “a flying coffin” —the machines of this type that served the US Air Force in Europe — was also found in similar weather conditions and relief conditions in Russia, the 1965 data on the flight accident were equal to 5290 hours, demonstrating safety in operation at least three times better than Su-7. As for the other “probable enemy” - the main American fighter-bomber F-105 “Thunderchif”, his service in European conditions was described by absolutely incredible reliability indicators - by flying for one loss in 10 000 hours! ”(C.117). West German "Starfighters" - F-104G - flew into one flight incident 2 970 hours. The percentage of lost during the operation of the aircraft was greater, but flew more in the west.

Improving the aircraft improved the picture, but did not change it radically: “In 1968, the aircraft’s flying time per flight incident (LP) was for MiG-19 - 4 474 hours, MiG-21 - 4 422 hours, Su-7 - 2 245 hours and Su-11 - 2 100 hours "(C.118).

The problem is shown in the book with specific examples of flight accidents, including those with a tragic outcome. That is, hand on heart, the real level of reliability of the Soviet military equipment was not a fountain. However, they did not report this to the general public.

Maybe all this redeemed the high fighting qualities of the aircraft? Here, in general, it is not necessary to be a rocket scientist in order to understand the complexity of hitting a target on a high-speed low-maneuverable iron with a very modest set of aiming and navigation equipment. Actually, as an ordinary Su-7B fighter-bomber was not the ultimate dream. The fighter without air-to-air missiles was conditional, and the same speed that was driven at the beginning of the car’s career influenced the shock capabilities. Markovsky honestly writes: “First of all, the pilot of a high-speed“ arrow, ”rushing over the target in seconds, was difficult to find the object of attack. It was commonplace, even when pilots could not find landmarks and targets even at familiar test sites. It was not simpler to deal with the execution of the strike itself: the visually detected target (and no other capabilities of the Su-7B pilot) was instantly close by, leaving no time for deliberately building a maneuver for attack and aiming, while the Su-7B aircraft radio rangefinder it wasn’t suitable for ground targets, and manual data entry was required to accomplish the aiming task. In order to impose an aiming mark on the target and “calm down” its oscillations, it was necessary, by experience, 4-6 seconds, during which the aircraft, even before dialing, jumped about 900 km / hr during the 1,5 km / h speed. It should have been taken into account that the bombs themselves, dropped at such a speed, flew forward along the trajectory of another 300-500 m. As a result, the attack was required to start almost from the line of target detection, operating at a high pace and with a high probability of errors, which had already been corrected once ” (C.139).

The Air Force command was clearly aware of all this and there were no illusions. Again quote: “Characterizing the state of the shock front aviation and its main aircraft Yak-28 and Su-7B, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Marshal of Aviation K.E. Vershinin wrote in 1966: “They have limited capabilities for the detection and aiming of targets, inadequate reach, and a long run and run length. According to their flight data and equipment, these aircraft are inferior to the American F-105D and F-4C, which are all-weather ... ". The aircraft were significantly inferior to them by the weight of the combat load (threefold!), Had no guided weapons, the service and preparation time for the flight remained significant ”(P.142).

After reading all this, my opinion strengthened that the Egyptian NHS about which I wrote earlier not at all cunning.

All this constitutes a less cheap and more realistic picture of the construction of the Soviet Air Force. The country was poor, there was a technological lag and achievements were given a lot of work, and the work of the pilots was not easy.
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  1. 3dmaxsev
    3dmaxsev 7 June 2013 17: 16
    All this constitutes a less cheap and more realistic picture of the construction of the Soviet Air Force. The country was poor, there was a technological lag and achievements were given a lot of work, and the work of the pilots was not easy.

    Nevertheless, with the release of the Su-27 and MiG-29 family, the technical lag in fighter aircraft was eliminated, and in some parameters, the performance characteristics even exceeded the American ones. As the saying goes: "The road will be mastered by the one walking," there would be a desire.
    1. Vadivak
      Vadivak 7 June 2013 22: 21
      Quote: 3dmaxsev
      Nevertheless, with the release of the Su-27 family

      It was created as a counterweight to the F-15 and no one doubts its superiority. This is officially and unofficially stated by the Americans themselves. In 1995, the commander of the tactical aviation of the US Air Force, General Joseph Ralston, bluntly stated: "No reconnaissance is needed in order to ascertain the superiority of the Su-27 over the F-15 in maneuverability and thrust-weight ratio."
  2. Black Colonel
    Black Colonel 7 June 2013 18: 25
    The one who does nothing is not mistaken. Learn from mistakes. And the 4th generation aircraft showed how much our aircraft designers have learned to create masterpieces.
  3. WS
    WS 7 June 2013 19: 05
    In my opinion, our designers have forgotten how to do anything. At the expense of new turntables, they again have few hatches, and to change a node literally half a turntable must be disassembled.
  4. ICT
    ICT 7 June 2013 19: 45
    Well, the Indians, it seems, were very pleased with this particular plane

    Despite the fact that in such tasks it is necessary not only to attack the target, but also to find it, the insignificant front length - about 16 km - reduced the time for searching for targets to a minimum. The small airspace in the war zone limited the use of aircraft. So, Su-7 participated in raids only by fours, taking off every half an hour, and in the target area each plane was about 10 minutes. Each pilot managed to make 6 sorties in a day, and their effectiveness was simply unbelievable. Squadron No. 101, operating on the most intense stretch, destroyed 69 tanks, 25 guns and 57 trucks. The main weapons with direct support were 57-mm unguided missiles

    As a result of the 1971 military conflict, Su-7 gained an ambiguous reputation. While a small radius of action and a modest, relative to size, combat load were confirmed, this did not affect the fulfillment of the assigned tasks. Among the advantages were noted the reliability and survivability of the Su-7, high accuracy of strikes, minimal ground handling and time to prepare the aircraft for a new departure
    1. Vadivak
      Vadivak 7 June 2013 22: 14
      Quote: TIT
      Well, the Indians, it seems, were very pleased with this particular plane

      "Su-seventh" was considered a machine capable of withstanding any test. Collisions with birds, not uncommon with the richness of the local fauna, were usually endured without consequences, and even the engine often “swallowed” them without interference. There was a case when the Su-7BMK, which could not restrain the runway after an interrupted take-off, broke through the emergency braking device network, broke through the fence surrounding the base and stopped only in a shallow ditch. The aircraft, taken out by the tractor and delivered to the parking lot after inspection, was again launched on the same day. It is not surprising that in Indian aviation the Su-7 was called the “Tsar-plane”.
      1. romanru4
        romanru4 7 June 2013 22: 37
        "If you want to be in the coffin, then fly the SU-7Be!" Not a very funny saying of pilots who flew it. Or have you forgotten?
        1. Vadivak
          Vadivak 8 June 2013 08: 38
          Quote: romanru4
          If you want to be in a coffin, then fly the SU-7Be! "Not a very funny saying of the pilots who flew it. Or have you forgotten?

          Pilots can be different. LaGG-3 pilots had a varnished guaranteed coffin, but AC No. 2 of the Luftwaffe Gerhard Barkhorn recalled that in 1942 on the Stalingrad Front he “turned the carousel” with a single LaGG for 40 minutes, the opponents were worthy of each other - not a single plane was shot down. On February 3, 1942, A.A. Gubanov in LaGG-3 shot down three Bf 109s in one battle. At LaGG-3, the most successful ace Igor Kaberov won most of his victories.
        2. Bort radist
          Bort radist 8 June 2013 14: 23
          I remember in Poland the city of Brzeg Su - 7b, 1976. The men were preparing for all-Union competitions. In Belarus in the Pinsk swamps there was a training ground. We flew to transfer equipment to them, they had to fly under their own power. The last training, the five left, they sat down. I look at the end of the strip stood on the taxi already. Leading his nose to the bottom lies on the outboard. Then they told me, I wanted to open the cab and mistakenly pressed the chassis cleaning switch. I also thought about how to place next to it and without blocking. It was just the beginning.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. Bort radist
    Bort radist 7 June 2013 20: 04
    Alcohol cooling was in Poland, we give them kerosene, they give us alcohol .......
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. cartridge
    cartridge 7 June 2013 20: 07
    You cannot rise like a bird into the sky with one flap of your wings! You have to strain!
    1. Revolver
      Revolver 7 June 2013 21: 22
      Finally, this photo is from the Iranian parade.
    AIR-ZNAK 7 June 2013 20: 27
    We almost reached everything ourselves, and worked for the states of half the world, including the main developers of German aviation. The Shtatovs did not need to pick up the country from the ruins after the war, how correct are the comparisons ** with us, and with them ** it would be nice to correlate with the general level of development of the industry. At the time of the creation of the Su-7, we were lagging behind in many ways. And we were in the role of catching up for a long time. BUT IT COULD BE DONE !!!
    1. cdrt
      cdrt 8 June 2013 03: 25
      We read the book "German trace ..." - German designers also worked for us
  10. mosgeo1
    mosgeo1 7 June 2013 21: 54
    Thanks dad. What he wrote about the Russians. There are many funnels in the Ramenskoye meadows. And in the cemeteries, in Zhukovsky, in the souls of those who remember, the funnel is even bigger!
  11. individual
    individual 7 June 2013 22: 12
    "Su-7s of early production series were rolled out onto the runway with a tractor and only then they started the engine. They also drove into the parking lot with a tractor."

    Saved is not a great resource of engines.
    It shows what the creators of Su and MIGs went through in their formation.
    It was a heroic time to create a heroic technique.
  12. Russ69
    Russ69 7 June 2013 22: 26
    Quote: Vadivak
    In 1995, the commander of the US Air Force tactical aviation, General Joseph Ralston, bluntly stated: "No reconnaissance is needed in order to ascertain the superiority of the Su-27 over the F-15 in maneuverability and thrust-to-weight ratio."

    I don’t remember in which English magazine on the aviation topic they conducted a survey, which plane is cooler. Su-27 defeated with a big advantage.
  13. Avenger711
    Avenger711 7 June 2013 22: 27
    Regarding reliability, the abnormally high losses of the German F-104s became an occasion for discussion in the press. As a result, Germany lost 36% of these aircraft. How many percent of the MiG-21 lost the USSR? Indian Air Force lost 55% of its MiG-21 for 41 years and are considered pathologically emergency. They even fought in the 2000s to the fullest, but what happened 30 years ago with poorly trained pilots? Canada has lost half of its F-104s, presumably not in 40 years. Apparently there is no reason to consider the loss of the Soviet MiG-21 more than 15-25% and it is quite possible that under the flight loss we mean different things. English pedivicia for the F-104 results in a total flying time of 3265 hours for loss. What kind of watch is for the MiG-21, is it a loss, or for each emergency?
  14. aviator_IAS
    aviator_IAS 7 June 2013 22: 31
    Quote: AIR-ZNAK
    We almost reached everything ourselves

    Well, do not offend our intelligence. bully No wonder they ate bread. Not even in the defense industries helped save time and money. Our advantage has always been a strong fundamental science. In the design of aircraft, for example, aerodynamics. The situation was somewhat worse in instruments and equipment. If there wasn’t enough manpower and funds to develop household appliances, then technical intelligence filled the gaps.

    Now we also need to be more active in this direction. Pull up lagging industries. There, the Chinese are not a single gram copying everything in a row. Yes, and still manage to bring to the states at a car dealership copies of American cars with a slightly modified grille. smile

    Of course, you should not forget about your developments. Because copying is always behind.

  15. falcon
    falcon 8 June 2013 01: 34
    This opus is difficult to call a review. I would like to remind you that in 1965 American pilots
    the climate and cruise control in their aircraft did not have, and did not consider themselves tractor drivers!
  16. Fitter65
    Fitter65 8 June 2013 02: 25
    Honestly, I don’t understand, the review is somehow more like its summary. This book came out a long time ago, I’m already silent about its magazine version, which was published in the journal "Aviation and Cosmonautics" in 2006/07. Especially I liked that the comrade author of this article strengthened his opinion after reading this book ... Well, it was necessary to add which he read the other day. By the way, the authors of this book also have other books on the history of aviation about the Su-17, MiG-23 \ 27 , MiG-21 and others, so soon I think we will see reviews of them if the author reads them.
  17. Andrey Yuryevich
    Andrey Yuryevich 8 June 2013 03: 59
    an interesting article, in 1981 in our regiment (GSVG) when I was called it was the SU-7b, and after half a year they were rearmament to the SU-24, it seemed that this was the height of perfection. fellow
  18. AIR-ZNAK
    AIR-ZNAK 8 June 2013 05: 44
    Something ** lyamzil ** A classic example: during the Korean War, an unexploded rocket of the * air-to-air * class was stuck in the wing of the Chinese MiG; them.
  19. Fitter65
    Fitter65 9 June 2013 15: 45
    Quote: Andrey Yurievich
    an interesting article, in 1981 in our regiment (GSVG) when I was called it was the SU-7b, and after half a year they were rearmament to the SU-24, it seemed that this was the height of perfection.

    And what kind of regiment was this in the GSVG ???? Especially when you consider that the 16VA aviation was equipped with the latest technology one of the first. APIBs who were on the territory of the German Democratic Republic by 80 were armed with either Su-17s or MiG-27s And what about the Su-24 in the GSVG ?! You can also admit that there were Su-17u sparks on the shelves of the armed Su-7m, well, it was not outdated in all respects by the beginning of the 80s Su-7b!